Royal Musical Association (RMA) Symposium

Date:8 & 9 May 2009
Time:10.00-18.30 (Fri); 10.00-15.30 (Sat)


Call for Papers

Location: Jack Hylton Music Rooms, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University

Dates: Friday 08 & Saturday 09 May 2009

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Nigel Simeone (University of Sheffield)

Programme Committee: Dr Deborah Mawer (Lancaster University; Chair); Richard Langham Smith (Royal College of Music, London); Rachel Moore (Royal Holloway, University of London); Adam Greig (Lancaster University)

Organisers: Adam Greig and Philip Purvis (Lancaster University)

Following the Exposition Universelle of 1889, French music became increasingly dislocated between a rich, forgotten and imagined past and a future full of hope, expectation and excitement. This RMA Symposium seeks to explore how nostalgia and innovation influenced France's artistic climate from the fin de siècle until the end of the twentieth century. The harmonically adventurous invocations of 'the ancient' in the music of Debussy and Ravel; the playful milieu of the baroque and classical, sharpened with a twist of modernity, in the works of Stravinsky and Les Six; and the reconfigured romanticism and overt expressionism of Messiaen and Jolivet, are but a few examples of the past/future dichotomy which shaped and continues to impact upon much of France's artistic output.

We invite 20-minute papers which approach any domain of French music research (whether historical, analytical, or critical) centring on the preoccupations with, and relationships between, the past and the future. Topical issues include: how the past/future dialectic has affected composers' outputs and shaped a distinctly French music; why interdisciplinary and collaborative modes have been so important in the development of a French artistic identity; what particular role nostalgia might play in current areas of French musicological research.

Proposals should be submitted by email attachment in the form of a 200-word abstract with a separate cover-sheet (detailing name, contact details, institution and AV requirements). Proposals should be sent to Adam Greig ( by 31 December 2008. General enquiries can be sent to the same address. The Programme Committee will assess the abstracts and successful candidates will be notified by 31 January 2009.

Event website:
Who can attend:Anyone

Further Information

Associated staff:Deborah Mawer
Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK